A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Humming right along

I finally hung my hummingbird feeder today in the hummingbird portion of the Butterfly/Hummingbird bed. I widened part of the border running along the back fence last fall. You may recall it as the location of my winter-sowing containers. The butterfly portion of the bed surrounds the hummingbird plants on three sides. It all looks terribly bare right now because most of the plants are being grown from seed or were lost when squirrels dug in my winter-sowing containers. I planted the seeds and plants for the hummingbird garden first and marked off the area using plant stakes and twine which will be removed now that the rest of the bed has been planted.

Last fall I transplanted Monarda didyma ‘Jacob Cline’ from the original hummingbird garden. Two of the clumps survived the move and the subsequent warm winter/cold spring. This spring I added the wintersown Black Prince snapdragons and a Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans) that I purchased. Next I planted Black Prince snapdragon seeds in case the squirrels destroyed my wintersown seedlings. So far they haven’t and now I have more seedlings!

Behind the crook for the feeder I sowed seeds for the Scarlet King zinnias that I loved so much last year. One either side of the bed I planted the Texas Hummingbird Sage (Salvia coccinea) that also did well and along the front, my favorite heirloom Empress of India nasturtiums. All of which have germinated. If you enlarge the photo, you can see all the little seedlings.

How I came up with the design of this bed was simply that I wanted a butterfly garden and a hummingbird garden. When I researched those gardens, I discovered that there are a lot of flowers that attract both. It seemed logical to combine them into one large bed rather than two smaller ones. I concentrated all the red flowers in the center of the bed as a sort of “target” surrounding the hummingbird feeder.

So far that is three “experiments” that I am running this year: the Hyacinth Bean Tepee, the Strawberry Jar with nasturtiums and now the Butterfly/Hummingbird Garden. I’m thinking of removing all of the “Welcome to My Garden” signs and substituting “Welcome to My Laboratory” signs.


At 7:10 AM, Blogger Naturegirl said...

You have reminded me to get my hummer feeders out with this post! Thank you! I shall be keeping my eye on your ~laboratory plants!~
Happy gardening! hugs NG

At 1:45 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Naturegirl, I've been procrastinating about putting out my hummingbird feeder because I was trying to make time to make my own nectar. When I finally looked up the recipe and found out how simple it was (boil water, dissolve sugar, cool), I had to laugh at myself. I'll have no problem keeping the feeder filled all summer. I always have sugar in the house because I love to bake.

At 1:52 AM, Blogger Yolanda Elizabet said...

What an excellent idea to combine the hummingbird and butterfly gardens into one big garden. Wish there were hummingbirds in the Netherlands but no such luck I'm afraid.

Isn't it fun that you can always try out something new in your lab errr garden? :-)

At 8:08 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Yolanda Elizabet, I've never seen a hummingbird the whole time I have lived in this house (more than ten years). Sometimes I wonder if there really are any hummingbirds in my area!


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